Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Recap – Thursday, March 19, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is still in isolation as a result of possible COVID-19 exposure, but again addressed the nation from outisde his home.
There is little in regard to new information about the government’s reponse, particulairly compared to the massive funding annoucement from yesterday.
The most notable bit of new information dealt with the closure of the Canada-U.S. border. Trudeau says he anticipates the border to be closed as soon as tomorrow night.
The Prime Minister says the government is working on new ways to help canadians abroad. With the help of overseas businesses and telecom operators, a text message has been sent to Canadians abroad telling them of the consular services available.
Trudeau says that the government is working with the major airlines to help get people back into Canada. He says that they aren’t judging people who may have left more recently when the pandemic was already in full effect, saying the priority is to get them home.
During his remarks, Trudeau gave special recognition given to all the health care staff who are working to test and treat people for COVID-19, as well as the researchers who are on the job of helping create a vaccine and find new treatment methods for symptoms.
He also said that people should do what the can within the guidelines of social isolation to assist each other. He says there is a need for blood donors, and even neighbourly kindness.
As an example, Trudeau says people should offer to pick up some groceries for a neighbour to help limit the number of people who leave their homes. He says that we should check in with each other, and especially with the cashiers, truckers, hospital workers, pharmacists and other essential workers who are still working.
The Prime Minister could not give a firm timeline on when the social distancing measures will end. He says that the government is following the advice of medical experts, but that it could be weeks or even months.
On the $305-million promised to Indigenous communities as part of yesterday’s $82-billion announcement, Trudeau says money will be sent to communities for them to purchase supplies that they need to keep them safe.
He says that the government recognises that Indigenous people are at a greater risk at the best of times. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Carolynn Bennett will have more information on the funding later in the day.